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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

582                                                MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

2.    An o-dihydroxy compound, named bhilawanol, which distils con-
stantly at 225-26 C. at 3 mm. pressure, congeals below 5C. and forms 46
per cent of the juice (15 to 17 per cent of the nut),

3.    A tarry, non-volatile corrosive residue .forming about 18 per cent
of the nut.

4.    Fatty oils, tannic acid and other acids.

The juice is used internally in 1 to 2-minim doses in bland oil or melted
butter as a remedy for nervous and scrofulous affections and syphilis. Taken
in larger doses, it produces blisters on the tongue and throat and causes symp-
toms of severe gastro-intestinal irritation, followed in some cases by collapse
and death within 12 to 24 hours. Mahomedan writers consider 2 dirhems
(about 144 grains) of the juice to be a fatal dose.

The post-mortem appearances are blisters in the mouth and throat.
Blisters are also seen on the mucous membrane of the stomach, which is
congested and inflamed.

When applied externally, the juice produces irritation and a painful
blister containing an acrid serum, which produces eczematous eruptions of
the neighbouring skin, with which it comes into contact. These eruptions
may develop into deep ulcers and cause sloughing and even death, if the
juice is applied to the scrotum. They are usually accompanied by consti-
tutional symptoms, such as fever, reddish-brown and bloody urine and pain
In passing urine as well as stools.

During the process of chemical examination of marking-nut juice a little of the liquid
was rubbed on the skin of the dorsum of the left hand of S. R, Nayudu. After an interval
of two days it produced very severe irritation and blistering. The blisters tended to
spread along the margin till the whole dorsum of the hand was swollen and blistered.
There was very intense itching and oozing of serum, The hand took about a fortnight
to heal and the dorsum of the hand was stained black for some weeks at the spot of
the application of the juice. Some time after the healing of the blisters on the hand,
Nayudu developed suppurative lymphadenitis of the axilla which required operative
treatment, and kept him in bed for two months,28

Accidental poisoning may result from the administration of the juice by
Hakims or Vaids. In Bombay, an oily substance was applied by a Hakim to
the paralysed limbs of a child of 12 years, from the corrosive action of which
the child died in the G. T. Hospital. The substance proved on analysis to be
a preparation of marking-nut.29 A Hindu male of Angul took some milk
boiled with marking-nuts for relief of pain in the chest and had vomiting and
purging and died after a few hours,30

Homicidal poisoning by the internal administration of marking-nut juice,
though rare, has been recorded. In his letter dated 6th June 1942, the
Chemical Examiner of Hyderabad, Deccan, reported to the author the follow-
ing two cases :                                                                       \

1.    A Hindu female of District Warangal gave to her husband a drink
containing ground marking-nut.   The man suffered from symptoms of severe
gastro-intestinal irritation and died within 12 hours.

2.    A Hindu female of District Raichur administered with her finger
groundfc marking-nut to a child, 7 months old.   The child started vomiting
and diarrhoea soon afterwards.   There were blisters on the tongue.   A blister
appeared on the chest which was touched by the woman with her soiled
finger.   The child died within 24 hours.

Criminally, the juice is introduced into the vagina as a punishment for
infidelity, is applied to the skin to produce a bruise to support a false charge

28.   Madras Chem. Examiner's Annual Rep., 1933, p, 10.

29.   Bombay Chem. Analyser's Annual Report, 1925, p, 6.

30.   Bengal Chem. Examiner's Annual Report, 1929, p. 13.